Author Topic: A New AMS Thread  (Read 3128 times)  

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
A New AMS Thread
« on: October 06, 2017, 11:30:24 AM »
So it was pointed out recently that the old AMS thread has become a bit unwieldy and I was wondering if it would make sense to start a new thread where we sort of summarize what we can agree on and then go from there.  I'll take a first shot at what I think is the general consensus from that other thread and then others can chime in on what I missed or got wrong and then we can go from here until we get all convoluted again.

- A successful ad should have about 1 click per thousand impressions (some have a better ratio and sometimes it can go as high as 1:2500 or so, but the higher you go the more likely the ad will stop running)
- The ads don't run on a straight highest bidder wins model. There's a performance and relevance aspect to which books are shown and which ads run that none of us really know the ins and outs of.
- The estimated sales amount reported on the AMS dashboard is the sale price of the book, not what you earn.
- This amount includes ebooks as well as paperbacks sold through KDP Print or CreateSpace. It does not include paperback sales if you're the one responsible for shipping them.
- The AMS dashboard does not account for KU borrows and does not show what you earn for pages read if a book is borrowed after someone clicks on the ad.
- Someone can click on an ad and come back to buy the book later and AMS will count that towards the ad. (This can be as much as 10-14 days later.)
- AMS will also count sales of related books (like book 1 in a series where the ad was for book 3) towards the ad's performance.
- People have had success with both Sponsored Product and Product Display ads and using both low- and high-bid strategies.
- In general, if you bid more you should see more impressions and better ad placement.
- Some have found that a low-bid ad that's allowed to sit for a month may ultimately start delivering impressions even if it doesn't do anything initially.
- For Sponsored Product ads, look to authors, book titles, and generic genre-appropriate keywords like "romance" for your keywords
- Competitive genres like romance or thriller will likely require higher bids than more niche areas like non-fiction
- Depending on the price of your book, you should see a sale for every ten to twenty clicks.
- While it's tempting to use the ACoS value to judge your ads, don't. There's enough of a delay between costs being reported on the AMS dashboards and sales being reported as well as the mix of ebook/print sales in the reported numbers that you can be easily misled by following this number.
- It's better to establish a baseline for your book's sales before you start running the ads and then look at sales reported on your KDP dashboard as well as CreateSpace sales reported while the ad is running. If you're in KU, compare your baseline rank to your rank once the ads are running to see if there are borrows that have happened as a result of the ad that haven't yet resulted in page reads.

Alright. That's a good start. What did I miss or get wrong?


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Michele Brouder

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 328
  • Gender: Female
  • Ireland
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2017, 11:36:23 AM »
That's a real good start. I'm following.

Also I just read somewhere that with Product Display, you should 'set it and forget it' and that it could take some time before you see any clicks.

Michele Brouder | website | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

Offline Jacob Stanley

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 258
  • Gender: Male
  • Georgia
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 11:50:58 AM »
Pretty much everything you've said agrees with my past experience.

I would also add one inference I've made over the last several months that may (or may not) be true... It seems like new ads tend to get a boost when you first launch them, like a trial period I guess, but that doesn't hold true if you keep launching new ads for the same book repeatedly during a short period of time. There seems to be a diminishing returns thing going on there.

And if you let an ad rest, or stop advertising a particular book for several weeks, when you start advertising again it gets another chance to be brand new.

I've also found that it's a good general practice is to try to keep Amazon's best interests in mind with your ad. Basically, they like ads that make a profit for them. So if your ad is making tons of money for you, but you're using tiny bids and getting a bad CTR, you're probably taking up valuable carousel space, and Amazon will gradually phase your ad out. But that doesn't mean small bids can't work, you just need a good CTR. Sales conversions might even factor into it as well, but it's hard to be sure.

In a weird way, keeping an ad alive and thriving is almost like caring for a plant, and it seems like over time you're fighting against a tide that slowly pushes old ads down in favor of new ads, very similar to the way new release books gradually push older books further down in the charts.

For myself, I haven't been able to achieve anything truly consistent with AMS ads. I've had some ads that did great for a long stretch, others where I lost money. Right now I'm not running any at all, but overall I've made a small profit with my Amazon ads, and I'm getting better with them.

Sometimes I feel like the rules are constantly changing. I think Amazon are still tweaking the baseline algorithm for their ads, so trying to work out a reliable strategy is equivalent to shooting at a moving target.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 12:02:28 PM by Jacob Stanley »

Offline Kay7979

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Gender: Female
  • Western NY
    • View Profile
    • Kay L Ling
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2017, 12:01:25 PM »
Thanks for summarizing results and starting a new thread.

What is your opinion of running AMS ads for more than one book in a series?

I've run an ad for book one since it launched last fall, and my CTR is not stellar. Around one click per 1500, and I have 1,000 keywords. I've run an ad consistently on book two since the launch this April, with 1000 keywords (for the most part not the same ones used for book one) and the click rate is about the same, but I get less sales attributed to this book. I recently started a new ad for book three, on preorder. Only 150 keywords so far, lol. No sales attributed to this ad yet, although my click rate is about one in 775. Maybe no one buys preorder books from relatively unknown authors via AMS? Am I wasting money running ads for all three books? With all these keywords at work, I hope to drive KU borrows if not a lot of sales.

Kay L Ling | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Offline vvcam

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2017, 12:06:02 PM »
I also read that your ad must comply with Amazons Book Ads Creative Acceptance Policies and it's better to pause than terminate an ad.

And...
  • If you get no impressions for your ad, check both the quantity and quality of your keywords
  • If you get impressions but no clicks, improve your ad copy
  • If you get clicks but no sales, improve your product page
  • If you get impressions and clicks but no sales, check your target audience and/or keywords.


V. V. Cam | website

Offline Accord64

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 546
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Bruce Fottler Author Facebook Page
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 12:08:12 PM »
- This amount includes ebooks as well as paperbacks sold through KDP Print or CreateSpace. It does not include paperback sales if you're the one responsible for shipping them.
- The AMS dashboard does not account for KU borrows and does not show what you earn for pages read if a book is borrowed after someone clicks on the ad.

Alright. That's a good start. What did I miss or get wrong?

Has anyone determined if audio-book sales are counted?
 

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 12:29:53 PM »
Also I just read somewhere that with Product Display, you should 'set it and forget it' and that it could take some time before you see any clicks.

I've heard this as well, but haven't experienced it. I'm impatient, so I keep upping my bids on PD ads until they start spending money.

It seems like new ads tend to get a boost when you first launch them, like a trial period I guess, but that doesn't hold true if you keep launching new ads for the same book repeatedly during a short period of time. There seems to be a diminishing returns thing going on there.

And if you let an ad rest, or stop advertising a particular book for several weeks, when you start advertising again it gets another chance to be brand new.


Agreed that new ads seem to have a period where they run without any judgement re: relevance or performance. And also agreed that if you let an ad rest it can sometimes come back to life and get many more impressions than it had been. And that seems to be on an ad-level not a book-level that that happens. For my romance novel I was running two ads for a long time so I could rest one of them while the other was running.

In a weird way, keeping an ad alive and thriving is almost like caring for a plant...

Sometimes I feel like the rules are constantly changing. I think Amazon are still tweaking the baseline algorithm for their ads, so trying to work out a reliable strategy is equivalent to shooting at a moving target.

I'm also of the ads need tending school of thought although I do know some people have done well leaving ads untouched. For the ones I've kept going the longest (15-months or more), I'd regularly add new keywords, pause non-performing ones, and change bids and budgets.

What is your opinion of running AMS ads for more than one book in a series?

I've done it. I think with my fantasy series that my third cover is the strongest, so I've run some lower bid, lower budget ads on that one not expecting it to be the main ad for the series. I've also run them on a standalone romance novel that's technically the second in the series. Both did fine. I do think Amazon doesn't catch all of the sales that result from those ads, but that's a pure guess.  And it's possible with a pre-order that they don't credit sales until the pre-order is done? Pure guess on that one, but I wouldn't watch the AMS dashboard to judge. I'd look at overall series sales instead.

One thing I do think has happened off of my ads a few times is that people have bought the entire series and AMS has only credited one of those sales to the ad.

...and it's better to pause than terminate an ad.

YES. This.

Has anyone determined if audio-book sales are counted?

I don't think they are. On my romance title my audiobook sales picked up while I was running AMS, but I never saw any sign that those sales were getting credited to the ads.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

  • Status: Shakespeare
  • **********
  • Posts: 26643
  • Gender: Female
  • Florida
  • Remembering Jeff and Harvey
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 12:49:53 PM »


I don't think they are. On my romance title my audiobook sales picked up while I was running AMS, but I never saw any sign that those sales were getting credited to the ads.

I just restarted an ad and have only gotten audiobook sales from it. Those sales are definitely not showing up on my AMS dashboard. At least I assume they are coming from AMS because I've been running no other ads on this book and certainly not on the audio version.


Please visit my website to browse my virtual bookshelf.
Margaret Lake | website | twitter | youtube | facebook

Offline DLBarton

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 12:58:24 PM »
Is there a resource on how to produce a successful ad--maybe some examples? Thanks for this thread!

Douglas Barton | Kindle Scout | FB page

Online scaler

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 05:56:58 PM »
Is there a resource on how to produce a successful ad--maybe some examples? Thanks for this thread!

Seconding this. Some screenshots of ads that have done well for people would be crazy useful.

Online C. Gold

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 861
    • View Profile
    • Golden Elm Publishing
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2017, 06:34:32 PM »
I got a few books that cover AMS ads.

Mastering Amazon Ads: An Author's Guide by Brian D. Meeks
Learn Amazon Ads: Use AMS to Find More Readers and Sell More Books by Mark J Dawson
How to Sell Fiction on Kindle.... Michael Alvear
Make A Killing on Kindle... Michael Alvear

And I still think getting AMS ads working is a mystical process involving sacrificial offerings and full moons.  :o

Offline Christopher Bunn

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2121
  • Gender: Male
  • California, USA
  • Yes, Virginia, there is a monster under your bed.
    • View Profile
    • Scribbles & Tunes
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2017, 09:43:29 PM »
And I still think getting AMS ads working is a mystical process involving sacrificial offerings and full moons.  :o

Amen. Goats, virgins, smoking volcanoes. I'd recommend trying them all.

What are some of the best clicks-to-impressions anyone's heard? Is there such a beast as 1 click per 100 impressions?

Offline Philip Gibson

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Male
  • Laos (Moved from Yorkshire)
  • Philip and Cookie the Dog
    • View Profile
    • Hashtag Histories
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2017, 10:23:37 PM »
Excellent summary. I agree with nearly all but am not sure about this:


- AMS will also count sales of related books (like book 1 in a series where the ad was for book 3) towards the ad's performance.

I advertise Book 1.  Many customers buy all five books in the series, but I do not see this reflected on the AMS reporting, only in my KDP dashboard.

Philip

What if there had been social media during important historical events?
Philip Gibson | Hashtag Histories | Word By Word Graded Readers for Children

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2017, 05:57:07 AM »
Excellent summary. I agree with nearly all but am not sure about this:

I advertise Book 1.  Many customers buy all five books in the series, but I do not see this reflected on the AMS reporting, only in my KDP dashboard.

Philip

My theory on this one is that Amazon will count a single sale to the ad. I too have seen people buy the entire series and only had the one buy credited. But I do think they also count related book sales sometimes. With my two romance novels one is priced at $4.99 and the other is priced at $3.99 and I occasionally end up with a $3.99 sale credited to the ad for book 1 or a $4.99 sale credited to book 2. I think in the other thread someone mentioned that they had no sales on the book they were advertising but Amazon was showing a sale on the ad. That's when they reached out to Amazon and received the response about how Amazon credits related sales.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Philip Gibson

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Male
  • Laos (Moved from Yorkshire)
  • Philip and Cookie the Dog
    • View Profile
    • Hashtag Histories
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2017, 07:58:44 AM »
What is with this "edition" keyword?

I've just started Cassie's book and notice she got a sale from the keyword "edition" .  So have I.  I think others have mentioned it, too.  I'd love to know how this comes about.  Cassie removed the keyword, as have I in the past, but maybe it's more worthwhile to keep it even though it's a head scratcher.  Same with other Amazon-suggested, but odd, keywords like "1 1".

When we set up keywords, Amazon sometimes lets apostrophes through.  Sometimes not.  I just had "now I'm reading" rejected twice, but when I submitted it as "now i'm reading" it went through.

Philip


What if there had been social media during important historical events?
Philip Gibson | Hashtag Histories | Word By Word Graded Readers for Children

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2017, 11:18:42 AM »
I figure the cover of my book still drew in potential customers even though the "edition" keyword had nothing to do with the book. Most of those bizarre keywords don't generate a lot of impressions for me, but this one had 4531 impressions by the time I shut it down and only that one click that also resulted in a sale. I personally don't like to keep any keyword going that doesn't generate at least one click per 2,500 impressions even if it's generated sales for me because I think there is a performance factor in which ads continue to run.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Philip Gibson

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Male
  • Laos (Moved from Yorkshire)
  • Philip and Cookie the Dog
    • View Profile
    • Hashtag Histories
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2017, 01:23:32 PM »
I figure the cover of my book still drew in potential customers even though the "edition" keyword had nothing to do with the book. Most of those bizarre keywords don't generate a lot of impressions for me, but this one had 4531 impressions by the time I shut it down and only that one click that also resulted in a sale. I personally don't like to keep any keyword going that doesn't generate at least one click per 2,500 impressions even if it's generated sales for me because I think there is a performance factor in which ads continue to run.

I suspect odd, Amazon-suggested keywords, like edition and 11, are code for something  else.  Curious to know what.

What is your view of the method of running hundreds of ads at a time?  I know this is what Mark Dawson and Brian Meeks do, but to me it is too much to track since I like to get into and alter individual ads, often at the keyword level.  I currently have 23 ads running across 3 books.

Philip
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 01:27:04 PM by Philip Gibson »

What if there had been social media during important historical events?
Philip Gibson | Hashtag Histories | Word By Word Graded Readers for Children

Offline R.E.Conary

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 115
  • Florida
    • View Profile
    • Rachel Cord, P.I.
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2017, 01:37:09 PM »
Im running an AMS Sponsored Products pre-order campaign for my Rachel Cord Mysteries collection. The campaign started Sept. 10 and runs through Oct. 15. The collection release date is Oct. 15 for regular purchase and for KU readers.

This is my first major AMS campaign. I tried it a couple times before (too timidly,  :-[ I admit) with little result. Because the collection will be available for KU, my goal is to maximize impressions (get seen as widely as possible). I think the majority of clicks Im getting are KU readers checking it out and, hopefully, theyll come back after the 15th.

Heres the results of the campaign as of Oct. 7 at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with 1 week remaining:

Number of Impressions: 457,981

Number of clicks: 191 from 104 of 855 keywords with an average per click (ACPC) of $0.63.

Highest ACPC: $1.41  :o

Lowest ACPC: $0.11  :)

Highest # of Impressions is 46,038 for keyword series.

88 keywords have ZERO impressions; 7 are paused.

Highest # of clicks is 18 for keywords series and Steven King (a misspelling but defaults to all the Stephen King books. Which is good because the ACPC is a low $0.28, whereas keyword Stephen King is averaging $0.76 per click).

So far, there are 8 pre-order purchases.  8)

Ive just added another 105 keywords for 960 total.
"Lifes a crapshoot. We dont know the result until we roll the dice. -- Rachel Cord





(Make your own reading bar)

Offline Kay7979

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Gender: Female
  • Western NY
    • View Profile
    • Kay L Ling
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2017, 02:25:17 PM »
Im running an AMS Sponsored Products pre-order campaign for my Rachel Cord Mysteries collection. The campaign started Sept. 10 and runs through Oct. 15. The collection release date is Oct. 15 for regular purchase and for KU readers.

This is my first major AMS campaign. I tried it a couple times before (too timidly,  :-[ I admit) with little result. Because the collection will be available for KU, my goal is to maximize impressions (get seen as widely as possible). I think the majority of clicks Im getting are KU readers checking it out and, hopefully, theyll come back after the 15th.

Heres the results of the campaign as of Oct. 7 at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with 1 week remaining:

Number of Impressions: 457,981

Number of clicks: 191 from 104 of 855 keywords with an average per click (ACPC) of $0.63.

Highest ACPC: $1.41  :o

Lowest ACPC: $0.11  :)

Highest # of Impressions is 46,038 for keyword series.

88 keywords have ZERO impressions; 7 are paused.

Highest # of clicks is 18 for keywords series and Steven King (a misspelling but defaults to all the Stephen King books. Which is good because the ACPC is a low $0.28, whereas keyword Stephen King is averaging $0.76 per click).

So far, there are 8 pre-order purchases.  8)

Ive just added another 105 keywords for 960 total.

Thanks for sharing your data. I have an ad running on a preorder, with no sales showing on the dashboard after ten days, so I assume none of my preorders are attributable to AMS. In any case, I'm hoping as you are that KU borrowers are taking note.

Kay L Ling | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2017, 02:35:47 PM »
What is your view of the method of running hundreds of ads at a time?  I know this is what Mark Dawson and Brian Meeks do, but to me it is too much to track since I like to get into and alter individual ads, often at the keyword level.  I currently have 23 ads running across 3 books.

Clearly a number of people have had success with it. There's someone on this board who does that as well. I can't remember who right now, but they said they start five or so new ads a day. If you're doing Product Display ads there's no keyword tending that needs to be done the way I do for Sponsored Product ads.

I tend to run one ad per book. That's because there was a point in time when I tried running multiple Sponsored Product ads on books and they seemed to interfere with one another.  For my romance novel ads, which I finally turned off because I just rolled the books out of KU and that made them unprofitable, I had two ads that I'd run on that book, but never at the same time. I'd run ad A and if it wasn't generating sales that day, I'd pause it and run ad B. Of course, I was very fortunate with those ads, too. Between June and August those ads regularly spent somewhere around $25 a day. Occasionally I'd max out the budget on both ads and so they'd be running side-by-side early in the morning, but I didn't see a positive outcome when that happened.

I think most of the people who advocate multiple ads on a book are running Product Display ads, but I'm not 100% sure of that.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Philip Gibson

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Male
  • Laos (Moved from Yorkshire)
  • Philip and Cookie the Dog
    • View Profile
    • Hashtag Histories
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2017, 03:35:18 PM »
I think most of the people who advocate multiple ads on a book are running Product Display ads, but I'm not 100% sure of that.

Makes sense. 

I'm half way going very slowly through your excellent AMS ads book and much appreciating it.  I have my own primitive manual system for evaluating ads' performance and only use Excel spreadsheets for downloading keywords and pasting them into new ads.  All the other columns and how to use the spreadsheets for analyses are a mystery to me.

Guess I need your Excel book too, but this bit in the book description makes me think it might be beyond me at the moment:

Quote
This guide will walk you through how to do that. It assumes you know the basics of using Excel already

I don't know the basics and only recently found the download button on my AMS dashboard.


Philip
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 03:45:20 PM by Philip Gibson »

What if there had been social media during important historical events?
Philip Gibson | Hashtag Histories | Word By Word Graded Readers for Children

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2017, 04:29:50 PM »
I'm half way going very slowly through your excellent AMS ads book and much appreciating it.  I have my own primitive manual system for evaluating ads' performance and only use Excel spreadsheets for downloading keywords and pasting them into new ads.  All the other columns and how to use the spreadsheets for analyses are a mystery to me.

Guess I need your Excel book too

Thanks! Glad you're enjoying the AMS book. And check you PMs about the Excel guide.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline AlexaKang

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1810
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2017, 08:56:03 PM »
Thanks Cassie for starthing this new thread!

Offline Megan Crewe

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 292
  • Toronto, ON, Canada
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2017, 05:08:29 AM »
Has anyone found a viable way of A/B testing different ad copy? The last time I tried running ads with the same keyword targets but different text, one got all the impressions, so there was no way of telling how the others would have performed in comparison (since no one saw them). I'm assuming they were competing against each other, but it's frustrating because if I use different keywords for each, there's no way of knowing whether differences in performance are due to the targeting or the ad copy. :P

Megan Crewe | website | facebook | twiter | tumblr | instagram

Offline LilyBLily

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2017, 06:12:01 AM »
Meeks did A/B testing with Product Display-Interest ads. They don't compete with each other, supposedly.

Offline Megan Crewe

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 292
  • Toronto, ON, Canada
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2017, 07:16:19 AM »
Meeks did A/B testing with Product Display-Interest ads. They don't compete with each other, supposedly.

That's interesting to know! I've gotten better results in general with Sponsored Product ads, so would really like to be able to do more testing with those.

Megan Crewe | website | facebook | twiter | tumblr | instagram

Offline AlexaKang

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1810
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2017, 11:53:47 AM »
KEYWORD: Paperbacks

Let's talk PBs.

When I started running AMS SP ads last year, sales of my PBs bloomed. Wayne Stinnett said the same thing on a podcast.

This year, my PB sales reverted back to before I started running SP ads -- meaning: oh yes that's cute you've got a few PB sales here and there. And I look more professional having a PB option but that's certainly no bread and butter.

I'd assumed that it was just AMS ads losing effectiveness. But it occurred to me that sometime this year, I'd also stopped Expanded Distributions because Amazon decided to show the "lowest priced" retailer instead of my CS offer, if the retailer offers a lower retail price. I make next to nothing with Expanded Distribution and that p*ssed me off. So I stopped Expanded Distribution.

Now I'm wondering, was the end of the PB bloom a result of my stopping Expanded Distribution? After all, what if ED got my book shown in a lot of platforms, but the readers realize it's cheaper to order from me through CS when taking into account the cost of shipping and handling by Expanded Distributors?

So now, I've put all my books back to ED again. Problem is, I also raised the PB price from $12.99 to $14.99. This is going directly against DWS's advice about keeping PB prices low, but I don't want to make 0-5c per book through ED.

What have been happening with you all as to PB sales? Has it slow down to a halt?

Offline Marian

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1496
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2017, 12:05:34 PM »
KEYWORD: Paperbacks

Let's talk PBs.

When I started running AMS SP ads last year, sales of my PBs bloomed. Wayne Stinnett said the same thing on a podcast.

This year, my PB sales reverted back to before I started running SP ads -- meaning: oh yes that's cute you've got a few PB sales here and there. And I look more professional having a PB option but that's certainly no bread and butter.

I'd assumed that it was just AMS ads losing effectiveness. But it occurred to me that sometime this year, I'd also stopped Expanded Distributions because Amazon decided to show the "lowest priced" retailer instead of my CS offer, if the retailer offers a lower retail price. I make next to nothing with Expanded Distribution and that p*ssed me off. So I stopped Expanded Distribution.

Now I'm wondering, was the end of the PB bloom a result of my stopping Expanded Distribution? After all, what if ED got my book shown in a lot of platforms, but the readers realize it's cheaper to order from me through CS when taking into account the cost of shipping and handling by Expanded Distributors?

So now, I've put all my books back to ED again. Problem is, I also raised the PB price from $12.99 to $14.99. This is going directly against DWS's advice about keeping PB prices low, but I don't want to make 0-5c per book through ED.

What have been happening with you all as to PB sales? Has it slow down to a halt?
I opted out of ED a long time ago. My paperback sales did well with the AMS ads for a while, but the past few months they've died.

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2017, 12:46:59 PM »
I'm not sure Expanded Distribution is the difference. How have the ads been performing overall?

On my fantasy series, I had six sales of book 1 in pb last month, five the month before that, but none this month. Difference there is that the books rolled out of KU and it killed my AMS ads overall.

But I know it's not an overall drop off in PB sales, because I launched four Excel guides last month, Excel for Beginners, Intermediate Excel, Excel for Writers, and Excel for Self-Publishers and threw AMS at them. Excel for Beginners has sold 26 copies in paperback since launch and I'd attribute almost all of those to AMS ads. (Some friends have bought the Intermediate Excel titles so harder to say there and I turned off the ads on the others when the StoryBundle started.) So AMS can still work to drive PB sales.  But that was a new release/new ad.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline WyandVoidbringer

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2017, 01:22:21 PM »
Is there any advantage to running multiple AMS ad campaigns for one book?

I have a single sponsored product campaign running for each of my books, and I just stuff all the keywords I can think of into those. I don't really monitor those keywords at all.

The ads themselves seem to be performing okay, based on your metrics. One is at 1 click per 331 impressions, with about 1 sale every 26 clicks, and the second is at 1 click per 399 impressions with 1 sale every 22 clicks. Both have a daily cap of $20 ad spend.

Edit: Nevermind! I read back and saw that you've already answered this question.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 01:25:10 PM by WyandVoidbringer »

Sandell Wall | Sandell's Website

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2017, 01:27:34 PM »
Others can chime in with their own experiences. It seems that the Product Display ads you can run more than one ad at a time and they won't interfere with one another. My experience with Sponsored Product ads (and I think others as well) is that they do interfere with one another. So if you were going to run another ad, I'd say do a Product Display ad this time around but don't run two Sponsored Product ads at the same time on the same book.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Laran Mithras

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 838
  • Butte MT
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2017, 01:29:12 PM »
Is Automatic Targeting viable instead of using manual keywords? That's where Amazon auto-targets based on product info.
 

Offline BillyDeCarlo

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 194
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Billy DeCarlo, Author
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2017, 01:35:33 PM »
Sponsored Product ads (and I think others as well) is that they do interfere with one another.

Is that still the case if you have a SP ad that has reached 1,000 keywords and start a new one to add keywords to, as long as you are sure you don't duplicate keywords between the two of them?
Vigilante Angels Book I: The Priest: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book II: The Cop: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book III: The Candidate: 100%
Vigilante Angels Series Books I, II, III all available on Amazon!
Billy DeCarlo | Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | LibraryThing | Pronoun

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2017, 02:04:40 PM »
Is that still the case if you have a SP ad that has reached 1,000 keywords and start a new one to add keywords to, as long as you are sure you don't duplicate keywords between the two of them?

I don't know. The most keywords I have on any ad is probably 400. So when I experienced it it was with two ads on the same book but with different targeting. Hopefully someone on the thread has run into that particular scenario and can chime in.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2017, 02:07:36 PM »
Is Automatic Targeting viable instead of using manual keywords? That's where Amazon auto-targets based on product info.

I've tried it and didn't like it as much. I want to say I had more clicks but fewer sales. The nice thing with manual targeting is you can turn off keywords that are sucking up your budget or change your bids on the ones that are working. If I'd had good results, I would've stuck with them, but they never performed for me as well as my manually targeted ads. I did notice that once I had enough impressions/clicks on a book (maybe 4 million+ impressions) that AMS started listing my best-performing keywords in their suggested keywords list for those books. So it's possible if I'd run an automatically targeted ad at that point in time I would've had different results.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Philip Gibson

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Male
  • Laos (Moved from Yorkshire)
  • Philip and Cookie the Dog
    • View Profile
    • Hashtag Histories
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2017, 03:45:46 PM »
Others can chime in with their own experiences. It seems that the Product Display ads you can run more than one ad at a time and they won't interfere with one another. My experience with Sponsored Product ads (and I think others as well) is that they do interfere with one another. So if you were going to run another ad, I'd say do a Product Display ad this time around but don't run two Sponsored Product ads at the same time on the same book.

I have 3 sponsored products ads for the same book with identical keywords and bid price, but different ad copy.  Each ad gets 20-30 clicks per day.

On the other hand, I recently set up an A/B test for ad copy on a different book with identical keywords and bid price but different ad copy. Only one of the ads took off - the other got almost no impressions.

So like most things AMS, it seems the answer is - No.  Identical keywords do not compete with each other.

Except when they do.

Philip

What if there had been social media during important historical events?
Philip Gibson | Hashtag Histories | Word By Word Graded Readers for Children

Offline AlexaKang

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1810
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2017, 09:18:35 AM »
Others can chime in with their own experiences. It seems that the Product Display ads you can run more than one ad at a time and they won't interfere with one another. My experience with Sponsored Product ads (and I think others as well) is that they do interfere with one another. So if you were going to run another ad, I'd say do a Product Display ad this time around but don't run two Sponsored Product ads at the same time on the same book.

I agree with Cassie here. Best strategy for each book is to run only 1 SP ad, but you can run multiple PD ads. Caveat: you CAN run multiple SP ads if you use different KWs for each ad. I've tried that as an experiment to see if I could get the KWs that didn't take off to get impressions with a new ad. I don't recommend doing this because it drove me crazy when I needed to check if a KW had already been used in my Ad. I used to have to only check one ad. When I had 4 SP ads going I had to check every one of them (to make sure I don't end up with competing KWs and it was the stupidest time suck.)

Offline AlexaKang

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1810
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2017, 09:22:35 AM »
I'm not sure Expanded Distribution is the difference. How have the ads been performing overall?

TBH not well. But it's also because I've been way to busy to diligently tweak ads these last 2 months as I'm totally busy with other stuff. Am just now returning to tidy things up and trying some new strategy. But the PB sales died off months before that and I never figured out why, except the only thing I did differently was to turn off ED.

Quote
On my fantasy series, I had six sales of book 1 in pb last month, five the month before that, but none this month. Difference there is that the books rolled out of KU and it killed my AMS ads overall.

Are you saying that when you took the books out of KU, the AMS algo actually STOPPEd showing your Ads as frequently???!!!  OR that the KU readers stopped checking out the book after seeing the AMS ads because the book is not in KU?

Quote
But I know it's not an overall drop off in PB sales, because I launched four Excel guides last month, Excel for Beginners, Intermediate Excel, Excel for Writers, and Excel for Self-Publishers and threw AMS at them. Excel for Beginners has sold 26 copies in paperback since launch and I'd attribute almost all of those to AMS ads. (Some friends have bought the Intermediate Excel titles so harder to say there and I turned off the ads on the others when the StoryBundle started.) So AMS can still work to drive PB sales.  But that was a new release/new ad.

So once again we return to: How AMS ads work is all voodoo.

Offline BillyDeCarlo

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 194
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Billy DeCarlo, Author
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2017, 09:37:35 AM »
I agree with Cassie here. Best strategy for each book is to run only 1 SP ad, but you can run multiple PD ads. Caveat: you CAN run multiple SP ads if you use different KWs for each ad. I've tried that as an experiment to see if I could get the KWs that didn't take off to get impressions with a new ad. I don't recommend doing this because it drove me crazy when I needed to check if a KW had already been used in my Ad. I used to have to only check one ad. When I had 4 SP ads going I had to check every one of them (to make sure I don't end up with competing KWs and it was the stupidest time suck.)

I keep a master spreadsheet of keywords, sorted in alpha order so that I can check it before adding it, to prevent duplicates. You can create it by exporting the keywords in your existing SP ads and merging them. I added columns for date added and to note the ones I've paused so I don't use them again.
Vigilante Angels Book I: The Priest: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book II: The Cop: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book III: The Candidate: 100%
Vigilante Angels Series Books I, II, III all available on Amazon!
Billy DeCarlo | Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | LibraryThing | Pronoun

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #39 on: October 12, 2017, 10:34:02 AM »
Are you saying that when you took the books out of KU, the AMS algo actually STOPPEd showing your Ads as frequently???!!!  OR that the KU readers stopped checking out the book after seeing the AMS ads because the book is not in KU?

The ad spend dropped substantially which means the ads weren't likely showing as much. (I haven't gone back to calculate impressions.) Since it doesn't show whether a book is in KU or not, the KU folks would've presumably kept clicking on the ads if they'd been there to see and I would've spent as much money for less return for a while.  But it's so hard to tell cause and effect. Maybe the ads were just old by then in Amazon's view and I didn't do enough to keep them alive? But my romance one did seem to just completely die exactly one week before the books rolled out of KU. Because of my borrows ratio on that one, I haven't done much to try to revive it.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline gilesxbecker

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #40 on: October 12, 2017, 07:11:35 PM »
Being totally new to all this management of ads, question; when it says your daily budget is spent, does that mean that your ad campaign is suspended? I am running a SP ad with some fairly high bids to get some exposure and I have got that twice. Upped daily spend, then found that it did not have my upped amount, but the old, lower amount.
at any rate, despite higher bids I am not seeing my ads anywhere, not the PD ads either. When my daily budget is reached I am assuming that the ads stop?

dystopian sounds grim but actually fun abounds
Giles Becker | Giles Becker

Offline gilesxbecker

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2017, 07:12:54 PM »
Or do they start up again the next day?

dystopian sounds grim but actually fun abounds
Giles Becker | Giles Becker

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2017, 07:30:51 PM »
When it says "daily budget spent" the ad will stop running until the next morning unless you up your budget on the ad. (I can confirm this because my romance ad did this often and I'd see a rank drop and then go to AMS and see that the ad had run out of budget for the day.)

Not sure about why you're not seeing your ads. Obviously they won't show all the time, but if the ads are active and you're bidding high you should see them either on the pages of books or authors you're bidding on or in search results for them. For PD ads, they should also be on book pages or they show up on Kindles which you probably won't see.  Also not sure why your change to your budget didn't stick unless you changed it but didn't save? I've done that with individual bids before.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline gilesxbecker

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2017, 07:16:48 AM »
When it says "daily budget spent" the ad will stop running until the next morning unless you up your budget on the ad. (I can confirm this because my romance ad did this often and I'd see a rank drop and then go to AMS and see that the ad had run out of budget for the day.)

Not sure about why you're not seeing your ads. Obviously they won't show all the time, but if the ads are active and you're bidding high you should see them either on the pages of books or authors you're bidding on or in search results for them. For PD ads, they should also be on book pages or they show up on Kindles which you probably won't see.  Also not sure why your change to your budget didn't stick unless you changed it but didn't save? I've done that with individual bids before.

Thanks Cassie, exactly what I needed to know.

dystopian sounds grim but actually fun abounds
Giles Becker | Giles Becker

Offline Marian

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1496
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2017, 10:36:44 AM »
Is Automatic Targeting viable instead of using manual keywords? That's where Amazon auto-targets based on product info.
I've had no luck with Sponsored Automatic ads. Just my experience.

Offline BillyDeCarlo

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 194
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Billy DeCarlo, Author
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #45 on: October 13, 2017, 11:04:16 AM »
I looked at the bizarre list of keywords that Amazon generated for an "automatic" ad and wondered why anyone would pay for that mishmosh. But, Amazon will gladly take your money.
Vigilante Angels Book I: The Priest: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book II: The Cop: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book III: The Candidate: 100%
Vigilante Angels Series Books I, II, III all available on Amazon!
Billy DeCarlo | Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | LibraryThing | Pronoun

Online Colin

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
  • Gender: Male
  • UK
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #46 on: October 13, 2017, 11:45:32 AM »
Thanks Cassie for starthing this new thread!

Ditto.

Offline JDMatheny

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Website
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #47 on: October 14, 2017, 12:00:19 PM »
Question for those more savvy than I am, which includes anybody reading this! 

I'm currently running my first AMS ad for my debut novel.  I started the campaign on the 10th of this month and so far I have a little over 10,000 impressions but only two clicks.  My understanding is a good ad should get at least one click for every 1000 impressions.  Should I let the ad ride for a time given it's only four days in or should I consider it a failure and start over?

Thanks!


J.D.Matheny | Facebook |Website

Offline BillyDeCarlo

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 194
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Billy DeCarlo, Author
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #48 on: October 14, 2017, 12:19:27 PM »
Question for those more savvy than I am, which includes anybody reading this! 

I'm currently running my first AMS ad for my debut novel.  I started the campaign on the 10th of this month and so far I have a little over 10,000 impressions but only two clicks.  My understanding is a good ad should get at least one click for every 1000 impressions.  Should I let the ad ride for a time given it's only four days in or should I consider it a failure and start over?

Thanks!

Let it ride, it's too soon to make a judgment. I think the algos take some time to kick in, and Amazon's reporting is notoriously behind by days. The Product Display ads take a very long time to kick in. Sponsored product ads are preferred by most here and are definitely more active. You didn't state which one you ran. I recommend reading the previous (very) long AMS Ads thread here, at least the last year or so of posts.
Vigilante Angels Book I: The Priest: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book II: The Cop: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book III: The Candidate: 100%
Vigilante Angels Series Books I, II, III all available on Amazon!
Billy DeCarlo | Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | LibraryThing | Pronoun

Offline JDMatheny

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Website
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #49 on: October 14, 2017, 12:21:24 PM »
Let it ride, it's too soon to make a judgment. I think the algos take some time to kick in, and Amazon's reporting is notoriously behind by days. The Product Display ads take a very long time to kick in. Sponsored product ads are preferred by most here and are definitely more active. You didn't state which one you ran. I recommend reading the previous (very) long AMS Ads thread here, at least the last year or so of posts.

Thanks for the response!  I ran a Sponsored product ad.  I'll work my way through the other thread, thanks.


J.D.Matheny | Facebook |Website

Offline Jeff DeGordick

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Gender: Male
  • Ontario
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #50 on: October 14, 2017, 03:21:02 PM »
Question for those more savvy than I am, which includes anybody reading this! 

I'm currently running my first AMS ad for my debut novel.  I started the campaign on the 10th of this month and so far I have a little over 10,000 impressions but only two clicks.  My understanding is a good ad should get at least one click for every 1000 impressions.  Should I let the ad ride for a time given it's only four days in or should I consider it a failure and start over?

Thanks!

I'm not savvy, but I just put up AMS ads for my first novel (in a new genre; basically a fresh start) on the 10th as well, so I'll mention my stats in case you find that useful.

I'm running both a sponsored products and a product display ad. I don't know if it's partly Amazon's reporting being slow for product display ads or not, but for my sponsored products ad, I have about 4,900 impressions, and for my product display ad I only have about 50. The latter is set to showcase on 36 books that I believe are very relevant to my book, and I have a $2.00 bid, which I think is high, but maybe it's not.

All together, though, I have just shy of 5,000 impressions and 26 clicks, which I feel is pretty good. Amazon tells me I don't have any sales yet, but my ranking has jumped up from where it started, so that's either from organic sales or maybe someone borrowed the book after seeing the ad, which Amazon doesn't report.

2 clicks for 10,000 impressions seems pretty low. That suggests to me that either the ad isn't good enough (cover and tiny blurb), or maybe you're not targeting relevant keywords. If you're getting a fair amount of clicks but no sales, it's probably a case of the blurb or start of the book not being compelling enough.

Anyway, I'm new to this too, but there's my two cents.

Jeff DeGordick

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2017, 04:10:16 PM »
Yeah, that's a click ratio of 1 to 5,000 which is not good and not likely to improve. I would look at which keywords are generating impressions and shut down the one that's doing that to your ad because my personal theory is this:

Any new ad gets a certain amount of time to run without a lot of judgement from Amazon. It's probably 5-7 days or so. Maybe less, maybe more. During that time you're establishing a track record for that ad. When that free period is up, Amazon's secondary algos kick in. If the ad isn't performing well, the ad gets shut down hard. Or it becomes much more expensive to keep it going. Establish a long enough track record of poorly targeted keywords (which I suspect is what's causing this, a popular keyword that doesn't work with your book) and it's an uphill battle to gets ads going on that book. You have to pay a lot to get movement and then it takes time to show that it isn't your book that was the problem but some badly-targeted words.

That's just based upon observation and gut feel, it could be wrong. But it does fit with the fairly widely-reported fact that SP ads run well initially but die off for a lot of people after a week or so.

Also, Jeff, yes $2 is a very high bid. Surprised you're not getting impressions with that high a bid. (I can usually get a book running pretty well on PD display ads in the 60 cent range.) Do you by chance have the ad set to only target those specific books and not do a broad match? When I've tried that, those ads have not moved for me no matter how high I upped the bid. (But I also haven't let an ad sit for weeks like some do with PD ads, so factor that into what I just said.)


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Modi Gliani

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 172
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2017, 04:42:31 PM »
Amazon is supposed to track sales related to clicks, but how good is the tracking? I'm getting sales that don't show up in AMS even after 4 or 5 days have passed, and I am fairly certain the sales came from the advertising. So how accurate is the tracking of sales related to cliicks? Much thanks for your help.


Offline Jeff DeGordick

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Gender: Male
  • Ontario
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #53 on: October 14, 2017, 06:49:35 PM »
Also, Jeff, yes $2 is a very high bid. Surprised you're not getting impressions with that high a bid. (I can usually get a book running pretty well on PD display ads in the 60 cent range.) Do you by chance have the ad set to only target those specific books and not do a broad match? When I've tried that, those ads have not moved for me no matter how high I upped the bid. (But I also haven't let an ad sit for weeks like some do with PD ads, so factor that into what I just said.)

I see under my ad that "Targeted Expansion" is set to "on", if that's what you mean. I'm also surprised I'm not getting more impressions. The books I chose to advertise on are ranked in the #1,000-20,000 range, so I figured maybe I was being outbid. My two clicks show that the average CPC is $1.11, which is still quite high in my opinion, but still much lower than $2.00. It's weird, because I ran a PD ad on an old book of mine for a month about a year ago, and I only selected 12 books with an $0.80 bid, and I got 210,000 impressions.

Jeff DeGordick

Offline JDMatheny

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Website
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #54 on: October 14, 2017, 07:01:34 PM »
Yeah, that's a click ratio of 1 to 5,000 which is not good and not likely to improve. I would look at which keywords are generating impressions and shut down the one that's doing that to your ad because my personal theory is this:

Any new ad gets a certain amount of time to run without a lot of judgement from Amazon. It's probably 5-7 days or so. Maybe less, maybe more. During that time you're establishing a track record for that ad. When that free period is up, Amazon's secondary algos kick in. If the ad isn't performing well, the ad gets shut down hard. Or it becomes much more expensive to keep it going. Establish a long enough track record of poorly targeted keywords (which I suspect is what's causing this, a popular keyword that doesn't work with your book) and it's an uphill battle to gets ads going on that book. You have to pay a lot to get movement and then it takes time to show that it isn't your book that was the problem but some badly-targeted words.

That's just based upon observation and gut feel, it could be wrong. But it does fit with the fairly widely-reported fact that SP ads run well initially but die off for a lot of people after a week or so.

Also, Jeff, yes $2 is a very high bid. Surprised you're not getting impressions with that high a bid. (I can usually get a book running pretty well on PD display ads in the 60 cent range.) Do you by chance have the ad set to only target those specific books and not do a broad match? When I've tried that, those ads have not moved for me no matter how high I upped the bid. (But I also haven't let an ad sit for weeks like some do with PD ads, so factor that into what I just said.)

Thanks for the detailed response!  It's interesting, the first ad I did for the book I left into the fourth day and ended up with about 4300 impressions and 2 clicks.  At that time I had been getting burnt out and settled for a description.  After those numbers I re-did the ad to current and created what I consider to be a stronger description, but apparently that hasn't helped.  Might have to re-work it again.

Another interesting thing, I took the advice to use all author names in the best-sellers and hot and trending in my genres.  I also included automatic keywords, one of which was "book book".  Eh, whatever.  That keyword has gotten over 2500 impressions, a quarter of my total.  It also got one click.


J.D.Matheny | Facebook |Website

Offline Jeff DeGordick

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Gender: Male
  • Ontario
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2017, 01:05:56 PM »
I don't think "book book" is going to help you much. Even if you got one of your clicks from it. You're going to have tons of impressions from people who aren't looking for anything close to your book.

I wrote a haunted house book, and I mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to use the keyword "house". Well, I got tons of impressions, but no clicks. Not surprising; I don't think people looking for home decor books want a haunted house novel.

Also, if you're having trouble getting clicks, maybe you should post the ad blurb and your cover here for people to critique. Also your keywords as well would be helpful.

Jeff DeGordick

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #56 on: October 15, 2017, 02:13:40 PM »
I took the advice to use all author names in the best-sellers and hot and trending in my genres.  I also included automatic keywords, one of which was "book book".  Eh, whatever.  That keyword has gotten over 2500 impressions, a quarter of my total.  It also got one click.

Yeah, I'd turn that "book book" one off. I had a sale off of "edition" once, but its click to impression ratio was horrible so I had to kill it.

I think it's fine to start with hot and trending or best-selling authors, but then you need to see how your book performs with those keywords. As an example, I have a YA fantasy series and so I used "Harry Potter" at one point as a keyword thinking it might get me in front of fantasy readers who might be willing to branch out from J.K. Rowling's books. It generated a tremendous number of impressions for me, but very very few clicks and no sales. That keyword was a complete waste for me because it wasn't doing what you want these ads to do which is find people who will buy your books. Same with Bella Forrest. She's on the top of all the lists, but Amazon (rightly so) won't show my books on her pages because our books are nothing alike. So using those two keywords is just a waste of time for me and my books.

If you haven't also done so, think about other authors whose books yours is like or other authors in that genre who you love (because chances are you've emulated them in your writing or approached telling stories the way they do). Those are where I find my best keywords outside of the more generic ones like "fantasy" or "romance". (With those types of generic keywords, though, the cover needs to sell it for you. Don't target them if your cover doesn't clearly indicate what genre it is.)


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline JDMatheny

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Website
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #57 on: October 15, 2017, 06:47:14 PM »
I don't think "book book" is going to help you much. Even if you got one of your clicks from it. You're going to have tons of impressions from people who aren't looking for anything close to your book.

I wrote a haunted house book, and I mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to use the keyword "house". Well, I got tons of impressions, but no clicks. Not surprising; I don't think people looking for home decor books want a haunted house novel.

Also, if you're having trouble getting clicks, maybe you should post the ad blurb and your cover here for people to critique. Also your keywords as well would be helpful.

Yeah, it seemed weird.  I managed to get automatic keywords in with my manual ones.  I noticed it but then figured, why not.  Guess that's the wrong attitude.  The cover is the one from my signature.  The description was hard because it's so limited on characters, here it is-

"A deadly confrontation on a remote island will lead Jacob Daniels on the run from dark spirits - but are they real or imagined?  Enter the Torchbearer."

I have about 140 keywords, without the auto ones included, and they're all authors that I got from the bestseller/hnt lists from my categories.  I've really struggled to find an author/book that are like mine.  I think I'm too picky with that and need to think more generally, but it's been a pain.


J.D.Matheny | Facebook |Website

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #58 on: October 15, 2017, 07:02:26 PM »
I make no claim to being great at ad copy, but I'd tweak that to something like: "After a deadly confrontation on a remote island, Jacob Daniels is on the run from dark spirits. But are they real?"

Depending on how many books you've sold you can also try yasiv.com to see what books connect to yours or use your also-boughts. (Although some of my strongest also-boughts are ones that the ads won't run on. I put them in as keywords and get no impressions.) Or look for books with covers like yours.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Philip Gibson

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Male
  • Laos (Moved from Yorkshire)
  • Philip and Cookie the Dog
    • View Profile
    • Hashtag Histories
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #59 on: October 16, 2017, 06:40:18 AM »
Yeah, I'd turn that "book book" one off. I had a sale off of "edition" once, but its click to impression ratio was horrible so I had to kill it.

I also tend to kill keywords that have horrible click to impression ratios (worse than 1 click per 2,000 impressions).

But then, many people point out that if a keyword is getting thousands of clicks with no or tiny numbers of clicks, where's the harm since we only pay for clicks and all those impressions are free eyeballs on our book ad even if they're not optimum eyeballs?

What is your view on that?

Philip

What if there had been social media during important historical events?
Philip Gibson | Hashtag Histories | Word By Word Graded Readers for Children

Offline Anarchist

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2097
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #60 on: October 16, 2017, 06:54:19 AM »
I also tend to kill keywords that have horrible click to impression ratios (worse than 1 click per 2,000 impressions).

But then, many people point out that if a keyword is getting thousands of clicks with no or tiny numbers of clicks, where's the harm since we only pay for clicks and all those impressions are free eyeballs on our book ad even if they're not optimum eyeballs?

What is your view on that?

I know you asked Cassie, but I'll chime in to reiterate what I posted in January.

Purging low-performing keywords improves your ad's historical CTR and account's historical CTR. I suspect both are signals to AMS regarding your ads' relevance to site visitors, and will affect how frequently and prominently your ads are displayed over the long run.



"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

Offline Philip Gibson

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Male
  • Laos (Moved from Yorkshire)
  • Philip and Cookie the Dog
    • View Profile
    • Hashtag Histories
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #61 on: October 16, 2017, 07:39:39 AM »
Purging low-performing keywords improves your ad's historical CTR and account's historical CTR. I suspect both are signals to AMS regarding your ads' relevance to site visitors, and will affect how frequently and prominently your ads are displayed over the long run.

For that to be true, it would mean the algorithm evaluates not only performance of individual keywords within a campaign, but the campaign itself as a whole.  And then makes decisions/takes action based on the campaign's performance, not just the performance of individual keywords.

I don't know that we have evidence that that is the case, but meanwhile I will continue culling under-performing keywords in hopes of improving the overall performance of each campaign - something very much against the advice of Brian Meeks and many others.

Love to hear Cassie's view on how she thinks it works.

Philip
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 07:42:44 AM by Philip Gibson »

What if there had been social media during important historical events?
Philip Gibson | Hashtag Histories | Word By Word Graded Readers for Children

Offline JDMatheny

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Website
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #62 on: October 16, 2017, 08:11:39 AM »
I make no claim to being great at ad copy, but I'd tweak that to something like: "After a deadly confrontation on a remote island, Jacob Daniels is on the run from dark spirits. But are they real?"

Depending on how many books you've sold you can also try yasiv.com to see what books connect to yours or use your also-boughts. (Although some of my strongest also-boughts are ones that the ads won't run on. I put them in as keywords and get no impressions.) Or look for books with covers like yours.

Thanks, I appreciate the advice!


J.D.Matheny | Facebook |Website

Offline BillyDeCarlo

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 194
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Billy DeCarlo, Author
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #63 on: October 16, 2017, 08:47:57 AM »
For that to be true, it would mean the algorithm evaluates not only performance of individual keywords within a campaign, but the campaign itself as a whole.  And then makes decisions/takes action based on the campaign's performance, not just the performance of individual keywords.

I also think it factors in your book, how 'saleable' it is at the moment, i.e. trending/ranking. I see Amazon ads spending more money when my book is on promo and climbing in rank than when it's more stagnant. I think they are very complicated algorithms that Amazon is using.
Vigilante Angels Book I: The Priest: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book II: The Cop: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book III: The Candidate: 100%
Vigilante Angels Series Books I, II, III all available on Amazon!
Billy DeCarlo | Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | LibraryThing | Pronoun

Offline R.E.Conary

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 115
  • Florida
    • View Profile
    • Rachel Cord, P.I.
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #64 on: October 16, 2017, 10:13:49 AM »
Update from my Oct. 7 post:

My Rachel Cord Mysteries collection became available at 12:00 a.m. Oct. 15.

My AMS pre-order Sponsored Products ad campaign ran for 36 days from Sept. 10 through Oct. 15. I used 962 keywords made up of author names and genre appropriate words. Here are my results.

Total impressions: 1,233,735  :o

Highest single keyword number of impressions was 138,987 for keyword series

Number of keywords with ZERO impressions: 94 (9 paused)  :(

Total clicks: 668 (from 246 keywords)

Total clicks per total Impressions ratio: 1 to 1847

Highest number of single keyword clicks: 67 (keyword series; click ratio: 1 to 2210)

Average CPC: $0.99

Highest ACPC: $1.97 (keyword: women sleuths)

Lowest ACPC: $0.06 (keyword: leslie karst)

Pre-order sales: 14 (13 were from clicks; 1 from another source [Thanks, whomever you are]; last pre-order was Oct. 14; ad sales were 1 each from author name keywords and the genre keyword noir).

First day sales (not including pre-sales): 1

KENP reads as of this post: 850

My keyword bids started out at $0.25 with a $20-a-day budget. This escalated quickly and I settled on a $100-a-day budget with most bids at $1.50 and some at $2 and $3. Even with the higher budget, the campaign was paused twice by Amazon for Daily Budget Spent.

I plan to run more AMS campaigns but want to analyze how this one worked first and make adjustments. As I said earlier, this is my first major ad campaign and the first involving a KU book. Hope it works out.  ???

I am currently running a 2-week ad campaign at BookoftheDay.org that started Oct. 7 and ends Oct. 20. The campaign cost is $11.95 total for the 14 days and my book appears in several locations on the site daily. Dont know how many people click the Amazon link, but I think it still cool to see my book next to authors like Sue Grafton, Harlan Coben, Lisa Scottoline and Linda Fairstein. BookoftheDay also offers FREE book ads on its Unfiltered page. Here are some links to check out if anyone is interested:

FREE AD:  http://bookoftheday.org/unfiltered/ (Click on Add Book at bottom of any page)

2-WEEK AD ($11.95 No, I dont work for them ::)):  http://bookoftheday.org/premium-services/

SEE MINE:  http://bookoftheday.org/category/mystery/
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 10:33:58 AM by R.E.Conary »
"Lifes a crapshoot. We dont know the result until we roll the dice. -- Rachel Cord





(Make your own reading bar)

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #65 on: October 16, 2017, 10:51:56 AM »
For that to be true, it would mean the algorithm evaluates not only performance of individual keywords within a campaign, but the campaign itself as a whole.  And then makes decisions/takes action based on the campaign's performance, not just the performance of individual keywords.

...Love to hear Cassie's view on how she thinks it works.

Philip

I agree with Anarchist and I think that Amazon does judge an ad on overall performance. There was a response from Amazon that someone shared in the other AMS thread (something about bid amounts and why one ad was performing better than another) and it pretty clearly indicated to me that Amazon evaluates an ad on its overall performance and will slow or shut down ads that aren't performing well enough. And to Billy's point I do think they favor "hot" books. I think that's why that one romance ad I had did so well, because I let it run during a free promo that put the book in the top 50 on the free charts and resulted in a lot of borrows. Not only was it about people clicking on the ad while the book was free, it was also about the book ranking high. (I think. All guesswork here...)

And I personally don't think there's value in getting impressions if they aren't also leading to clicks and sales. Weird example: I'm not a smoker. A cigarette company showing me their ads isn't going to make me one. So if a cigarette company were showing ads with millions of impressions but they were all to people like me, what good would that do them? None. I'm never going to be a smoker and even if it isn't costing them a penny to put those ads in front of me, it's not doing them any good. Far better to show their ads to the subset of people who will buy their product. So when I have keywords with lots of impressions but no clicks, that's me showing my book to people who don't want it and does me no good. 

And does Amazon no good, which is likely why ads get shut down that have high impressions without corresponding clicks. No clicks=no ad revenue and no sales.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Philip Gibson

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Male
  • Laos (Moved from Yorkshire)
  • Philip and Cookie the Dog
    • View Profile
    • Hashtag Histories
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #66 on: October 16, 2017, 11:03:49 AM »
Just so I can be clear...

If a keyword has, say, 1,587 impressions, that means it has won 1,587 auctions for that particular keyword.

Is that correct?

Philip
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 11:08:19 AM by Philip Gibson »

What if there had been social media during important historical events?
Philip Gibson | Hashtag Histories | Word By Word Graded Readers for Children

Offline BillyDeCarlo

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 194
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Billy DeCarlo, Author
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #67 on: October 16, 2017, 11:22:41 AM »
Just so I can be clear...

If a keyword has, say, 1,587 impressions, that means it has won 1,587 auctions for that particular keyword.

Is that correct?

Philip

It's not an auction. The algorithms have placed it that many times, along with other ads of course. And who knows "where" on the carousel it was placed. Could be page 99.
Vigilante Angels Book I: The Priest: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book II: The Cop: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book III: The Candidate: 100%
Vigilante Angels Series Books I, II, III all available on Amazon!
Billy DeCarlo | Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | LibraryThing | Pronoun

Offline EmparentingMom

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #68 on: October 16, 2017, 11:23:07 AM »
Just curious: what's the most people have been able to spend per day on a single sponsored product ad?

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #69 on: October 16, 2017, 11:28:52 AM »
Just so I can be clear...

If a keyword has, say, 1,587 impressions, that means it has won 1,587 auctions for that particular keyword.

Is that correct?

Philip

It's not an auction. The algorithms have placed it that many times, along with other ads of course. And who knows "where" on the carousel it was placed. Could be page 99.

(I could be wrong here, this is very much unproven) I think that an impression is counted when the book is displayed on a page that someone sees. So if it's on page 99 but no one ever goes to page 99 I don't think that's counted. I think when a book wins an ad slot over other books competing for an ad slot (which is a sort of auction but one that takes into account more than just your bid) that you'll see a 0 for impressions instead of a - for that keyword, assuming it doesn't have any other impressions. If someone then goes to the page on the carousel or in the search results where your book is displayed, that will count as 1 impression.


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline Cassie Leigh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #70 on: October 16, 2017, 11:30:27 AM »
Just curious: what's the most people have been able to spend per day on a single sponsored product ad?

I think I may have spent as much as $50 at one point, but have definitely been able to spend in the $30-$40 range consistently. (With lower bids than the example above.)


8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.
Blog

Offline SunbirdBooks

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Sunbird Books
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #71 on: October 16, 2017, 12:04:56 PM »
Thank you for this thread and all the information within. I started using AMS ads around August playing low-ball with $2 and $3 per day ads. I think that's a great way for those just starting to learn to get their feet wet. I've been maintaining the list of keywords, adding to it every day or two, pausing the keys that rack up major impressions but don't preform in terms of clicks, and upping the bid on those that do preform and lead to sales. My highest bid is $0.26, but I've made some sales and maintained an ACoS below 50% with one click per 688 impressions on average, so you don't have to break the bank to figure it out. I actually believe it's best to play low-ball at first and really learn how the system operates before throwing down $10 or $20 a day with $2 bids. Now that I have a better grasp on things, I'm going to experiment with higher bids and daily budgets when my next book rolls out later this year.
Next release: 90%
Sunbird Books | website | facebook | twitter

Offline Lilly_Frost

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #72 on: October 16, 2017, 03:42:52 PM »
On some of my keywords, under Impressions and Clicks there is an "" for some words, and "0" for others. What is the quantitative difference between the two nothings?   ???   This has been a puzzler for me.

Leroy Nichols | Square Root of Time

Offline BillyDeCarlo

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 194
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Billy DeCarlo, Author
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #73 on: October 16, 2017, 04:00:06 PM »
On some of my keywords, under Impressions and Clicks there is an "" for some words, and "0" for others. What is the quantitative difference between the two nothings?   ???   This has been a puzzler for me.

I think Cassie just answered that two answers ago.
Vigilante Angels Book I: The Priest: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book II: The Cop: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book III: The Candidate: 100%
Vigilante Angels Series Books I, II, III all available on Amazon!
Billy DeCarlo | Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | LibraryThing | Pronoun

Offline Lilly_Frost

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #74 on: October 16, 2017, 04:19:32 PM »
Aha, thank you. Curses upon middle-aged eyes.

I think Cassie just answered that two answers ago.

Leroy Nichols | Square Root of Time

Offline Philip Gibson

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Male
  • Laos (Moved from Yorkshire)
  • Philip and Cookie the Dog
    • View Profile
    • Hashtag Histories
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #75 on: October 16, 2017, 05:49:47 PM »
It's not an auction. The algorithms have placed it that many times, along with other ads of course. And who knows "where" on the carousel it was placed. Could be page 99.

So what is the "auction" component Amazon talks about?

What if there had been social media during important historical events?
Philip Gibson | Hashtag Histories | Word By Word Graded Readers for Children

Offline Philip Gibson

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Male
  • Laos (Moved from Yorkshire)
  • Philip and Cookie the Dog
    • View Profile
    • Hashtag Histories
Re: A New AMS Thread
« Reply #76 on: October 16, 2017, 06:03:25 PM »
This is how Amazon explains how the auction component works:

"Every time a shopper conducts a search using a competing keyword, advertisers engage in an auction using the different bids assigned to the keyword. The advertiser who has the highest bid and expected CTR wins the auction and gets the right of impression for that search."

Philip

What if there had been social media during important historical events?
Philip Gibson | Hashtag Histories | Word By Word Graded Readers for Children